Answering Common Questions About Steel Fabrication

Published by on October 15, 2014 11:58 am

Steel, LLC produces fabricated steel to frame all types of conventional and complex steel building structures. This includes, but is not limited to, columns, beams, trusses, and plate girders. Miscellaneous stairs and rails, steel joist, steel decking, ornamental metals, and in-place erection are also services generally included in our scope of work. Steel, LLC is certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in conventional steel structures and complex building.

The AISC has been updating their Frequently Asked Questions section of its website ( This month’s installment covers general fabrication questions, and we at Steel, LLC thought some of the recent updates would be helpful to you.

The answers to these questions are based on guidelines provided by the AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings and Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges. Below is merely a discussion of a portion of these provisions and subsequent recommendations regarding general fabrication of steel.

What methods are available for cutting steel, and what is the corresponding range of utility for each method?

  1. Friction sawing, which is performed with a high-speed rotary blade, is commonly used by steel producers and is limited only by machine size. This cutting method, however, is no longer commonly used in fabrication shops.
  1. Cold sawing, whether by rotary saw, hack saw or band saw, is limited only by machine size.
  1. Oxygen-acetylene (and related fuel) flame cutting, which can be mechanically or hand-guided, is commonly used for general cutting and edge preparation operations, such as coping, beveling, notching, etc.; its utility is virtually unlimited.
  1. Plasma cutting, which is mechanically guided, is generally useful for cutting plate up to 1” thick.
  1. Laser cutting, which is mechanically guided, is generally useful for cutting plate; thickness limitations vary.
  1. Shearing, which is performed with mechanical presses, is generally useful for cutting plates and angles and is limited only by machine size and capacity.

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